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MAS, IDMA partner with 6 entities to create digital solutions hub

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) are partnering with 6 private sector entities to create a Proof of Concept (POC) hybrid business data and digital solutions hub. The initiative will leverage on artificial intelligence to facilitate the internationalization and digitization of SMEs. The private sector partners are GlobalLinker1, Mastercard, SAP, Yellow Pages and 99%SME (DBS Bank and SingTel).

Known as Business sans Borders, this initiative aims to provide a wide set of digital services and connections to enhance domestic and international trade opportunities for SMEs, promote interoperability between SME ecosystems, facilitate quick and intuitive access in the provision of digital services (such as financial and professional services) with seamless integration and provide a sandbox environment to accelerate testing and delivery of new services for SMEs.

During the POC stage, the entities will develop multi-ecosystem sandbox, containing anonymized SME data, which can be used to initiate new trading opportunities or services through digital discovery, a services app store for the promotion of new and relevant services to SME ecosystems and SMEs and a smart AI engine for the seamless matching of demand and supply of services and products between SMEs across various SME ecosystems.

GlobalLinker will be operated by Digivation and will be a multi-nation SME networking solutions platform.

The POC will also seek further involvement from interested startups as well as established industry players in developing technical frameworks and potential governance structures for the exchange of anonymized SME data.

Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer, MAS, said SMEs are an under-tapped source for considerable economic growth in many countries. Business sans Borders aims to ignite a sea change in the way SMEs around the world can easily connect digitally with each other and this pioneering hybrid data and solutions hub will be supported by innovative and relevant financial services and powered with self-learning artificial intelligence, he added.

Tan Kiat How, chief executive, IMDA said IMDA digital technologies and platforms enable SMEs which are a core segment of our economies to overcome traditional barriers of market entry and reach. This joint initiative to explore cross-border data flows and services has the potential to give our SMEs a digital advantage in the global marketplace and discover new trading opportunities.

Claus Andresen, MD, South East Asia, SAP, said SAP looks forward to leveraging its innovative technologies to help SMEs drive their intelligent enterprise transformation. Through this collaboration, SAP aims to enable greater levels of procurement across enterprises of all sizes and help drive economic growth in the local community.

Ari Sarker, co-president, Asia Pacific, Mastercard, said Mastercard has been actively driving digital inclusion across its stakeholder set globally and in particular, it recognizes that SMEs face significant headwinds in terms of understanding and integrating technology to grow and scale, efficiently and effectively.

Joyce Tee, DBS group head of SME Banking, said to help SMEs thrive in the new digital economy, they need forward-looking programs like Business sans Borders to help them identify new opportunities, expand beyond their home market and connect with other SMEs in the region.

Sameer Vakil, co-founder & CEO, GlobalLinker said GlobalLinker is committed to make the business growth of SMEs globally simpler, more profitable and enjoyable. Business sans Borders is a very strong complement in achieving this vision, he added.

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